With just a few hours to the start of a brand new month, one with new chapters for most and a potential fresh start for some, I touch on the most important topic of all; RESPECT.
Respect : “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements”
I have always been of the opinion that “respect” is the most paramount characteristic of any relationship. We are human, and as such, we hold so many different relationships with different people; the most important one being the relationship we have with ourselves.
We strive so hard to gain respect from those around us, that we often forget to have great relationships within us. The most important person to you, is you. It is extremely difficult and irrational for one to demand respect from others, when they do not respect themselves. Self respect is very often talked about, but seldom understood. We create enemies of ourselves time and again, every time we put ourselves in situations that make us compromise on our dignity. How many times did you have to lower your standards or values so that something can go your way? We’ve all done it at some point, and whatever our reasons may have been, the truth is, that particular thing became the chapter of our lives that we do not read out loud. True?
There are quite a lot of variations of respect, I will mention just a few more.
Remember how when we were younger, we were told, “Respect your elders”? We were automatically wired to respect those older than us. Regardless of who they were. And for this one, you can be the judge. I feel like this is one of those personal decisions. However, is it only the elder ones who deserve respect? How about our peers and those younger than us? It is quite wrong to demand respect from someone whom you do not feel an ounce of respect for. Like children. We cannot simply demand respect from those younger than us, and not return the favor. Respect is a two way street. You get exactly what you give. Teaching young people that only older people are to be respected gives way to the rise of bullies and a lot of arrogant and disrespectful people in the later years.
By nature, I am known to be feminist and very vocal about my opinion on women’s rights among other issues. I cannot quite tell how, but over time I realized that what I chose to stand for is as a result of respect to my fellow women. I hang out with the male species quite a lot, and if you do the same, you will have noticed how “locker-room talk” goes. Depending on what is often talked about, you would realize that more often than not, there is some talk that could make you really stone cold. Give you a heart that is ice cold. And, every time I see any of my male friends say or do anything that I know would hurt the women in their lives, I call them out on it. I find it important that women respect other women, whether they know each other or not. Truth is, life does happen to people and what’s knocking on your neighbor’s door could be knocking on yours later. And, if you do have respect for the next woman, chances are that you will do what is in their best interest. And things like cheating and divorce and drama will be a thing of the past for many people.
Lastly, there is respect in love. This is crucial. My mantra has always been, “Where love fails, respect prevails“. I learnt this from my relationship with one of my best friends. The truth is, no one is in love ALL THE TIME. That’s the truth. There will be times you are sick of your significant other, or you probably hit rocky ground in your relationship. Often, at this point is precisely where most regretful things are done. However, when you respect someone, regardless of what the situation is, your mind and actions will always be in check. It is very hard for you to cross someone you respect deeply. Even within ourselves, with our neighbors, our family and friends, when love fails, let respect prevail.
Which is why I said at the beginning of this article, that, respect is the most paramount feature of any relationship. It is a virtue.
Have a great end of June, and a most fruitful July!